Into the Julian Alps: Viševnik, Bled, and on to Mojstrana

Bicycle tourists had warned us that the direct road from Bohinj to Bled was narrow and busy with traffic. You can take the train instead, we were told. However, that route was never even on my radar. Another option is the 900m climb to Rudno Polje which gives access to the highest mountains in the Julian Alps. The choice was obvious.

We had a few kms of flat riding

IMG_20220601_110558 by bryandkeith on flickr

before the 15km unpaved uphill to Rudno Polje.

IMG_20220601_121248 by bryandkeith on flickr

We got our first peak at the high peaks. 😉

IMG_20220601_134957 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220601_142503 by bryandkeith on flickr

For the first time we were spending the night in Triglav NP, Slovenia’s only national park. Put off by the 122 euro/night at an ugly hotel in Rudno Polje, we opted for camping. It’s illegal, and we’d be warned to be careful because the fines are high. We found a well-hidden spot.

The next day, for the 4th day in a row, we got to the highest elevation of our trip (it took another 10 days to break that record again). Ferda and I got up early and were at the summit of Viševnik at about 8:30am. You can see that it hadn’t clouded up yet. I think that might be Triglav, the highest peak in ex-Yugoslavia, in the back middle right of the photo. Ferda chose to turn around here.

To the left of Ferda might be Triglav, the highest summit in ex-Yugoslavia; to the left of that and much closer is Veliki Draški (our third summit) by bryandkeith on flickr

This photo:

This photo, taken from the summit of Viševnik (or near it), shows clearly the traverse I did -- along the ridge in front of the photographer to the saddle to the right and up to the peak to the right by first going along the top of the grass and then stra by bryandkeith on flickr

is about the same, but it more clearly shows the hike/scramble that I did for the next few hours — head along down and right on the ridge in front, follow the top of the grass, and scramble straight up to the summit of Mali Draški. Then I went left down the ridge behind in the shade to the saddle and continued up to the pyramidal peak with no bushes at the top — Veliki Draški, 2240m. The route off was to continue left down the ridge to a saddle (not in photo) and follow a good trail back to Rudno Polje.

IMG_20220602_093649 by bryandkeith on flickr

I met Stanko at the top of Mali Draški.

Stanko and Bryan by bryandkeith on flickr

We followed much the same route to the saddle between the two Draškis. I started up, and Stanko continued across to more quickly summit Ablanca.

IMG_20220602_101319 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220602_100857 by bryandkeith on flickr

I waited over 30 minutes on the Veliki Draški summit for the clouds to clear and a better view of Triglav, but this was about as good as it got:

IMG_20220602_104529 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was a fun morning excursion, the first mountain scrambling I’ve done since leaving Antalya.

Back at the bikes we were amazed at how fast the downhill was to Bled. The pavement was perfect. At the bottom of the steepest section we stopped for beers in Zatrnik with Vincent and Nils.

Vincent, Ferda, Nils by bryandkeith on flickr

If you’ve seen any tourist information about Slovenia, you know you have to go to Bled. Everyone else knows this as well. We stayed one night and got the requisite photo.

IMG_20220602_172104 by bryandkeith on flickr

Our route the next day took us through Jesenice, and we ended up in a brilliant campsite on the Sava Dolinka (spoiler: two weeks later and we’re still on the Sava Dolinka). The Sava Dolinka and the Sava from Bohinj (Sava Bohinjka) join near Bled to form the Sava which I wrote about in Zagreb.

IMG_20220603_135619 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220603_162721 by bryandkeith on flickr

The weather, however, prevented us from enjoying the campsite as much as we would have liked.

A great riverside campsite, but we couldn't enjoy it so much because of the rain by bryandkeith on flickr

Here are a couple photos from when it wasn’t raining:

IMG_20220603_202542 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220604_072656 by bryandkeith on flickr

We continued uphill on the wonderful rails to trails bicycle path to Mojstrana.

IMG_20220604_094144 by bryandkeith on flickr

One of our goals before arriving in the Dolomites (another spoiler!) was to try a couple short, easy via ferrata. Ferda and I did our first ever via ferrata here, in Mojstrana.

IMG_20220604_103432 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220604_104053 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220604_104619 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220604_111600 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20220604_112957 by bryandkeith on flickr

That was fun. We were rewarded with our first peak at the high peaks of the Julian Alps from the north side. Looks like there’s more to do here…

IMG_20220604_122844_7 by bryandkeith on flickr
This entry was posted in Bicycle touring, Slovenia and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Into the Julian Alps: Viševnik, Bled, and on to Mojstrana

  1. Mike Painter says:

    I was in Utah when you posted this. It sure wasn’t this green, lol! Beautiful scenery, and nice to learn more about the landscape of this corner of the world.

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